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Final Examinations

Final Examinations

Effective: January 3, 2011
Last Updated: Approved by EPC April 28, 2010; amended and approved by Campus Assembly on November 9, 2010; revised and approved by TLC on 4-26-17; revised by TLC 2-20-19; approved by EVCAA 5-22-19
Policy Owner: Academic Affairs 

All classes that normally permit undergraduates to enroll, including online courses, should include a final graded component or end of term evaluation (such as a typical exam) that assesses the level of student achievement of one or more course objectives.  Instructors are encouraged to design the final component or evaluation to be comprehensive and culminating.

  1. “Final graded component” or “end of term evaluation” may include a written final examination, project, composition or performance, demonstration of laboratory skills, or presentation. The date of the final graded component (if available) should be included on the course syllabus.
  2. All final graded components are to be administered or due at the time and place according to the final exam schedule and not during the last week of class. Final Exam Week is part of the regular semester calendar.
  3. Online exams must be administered or due during final exam week and not during the last week of class.
  4. Final graded components such as group projects, final speeches, presentations, etc. may begin before final exam week but cannot conclude before the scheduled final exam time.
  5. For courses that end at a time other than the end of the term, including summer terms, final graded components are to be administered or due on the last scheduled day of the course.
  6. Final exams will normally be scheduled in a two hour block. In order to accommodate transition time, no final exam should be scheduled for longer than one hour and fifty minutes.
  7. Instructors may not hold a regular class period during the final examination period and may not hold a class during the first hour of the examination period and then conduct the final examination during the remaining hour.
  8. No University-sponsored extra-curricular events, which require the participation of students, may be scheduled during finals weeks. Exceptions to this policy may be granted ONLY by the Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. Instructors must provide an alternative and timely opportunity for students to complete course requirements they were unable to complete because of an absence permitted by this policy.

Exemptions to this policy can only be granted by the appropriate department head and college or school dean. Exemption documentation must be kept on file in the dean’s office. Instructors are responsible for informing students of approved deviations from the published final examination schedules.

  1. Requests for exemption must be initiated by the instructor of record for the course and forwarded through the department head to the college dean for action.  Such requests are considered on a semester-to-semester basis.

  2. Requests for permanent exemption for a course for which regular final graded component is inappropriate, such as independent study or seminar courses, should be initiated by the sponsoring department and forwarded to the college dean for action. Such requests, once granted, remain in effect until modified by action of the department.

Final Examination Conflicts

UMD policy provides that no student may be required to take more than two final examinations on the same day. The regular final examination and the common examination schedules are constructed to minimize conflicts.

Conflicts are resolved according to the following policy. Regular final examinations take priority over common final examinations and both take priority over examinations that have been shifted to a time deviating from the published examination schedule. When three or more regular final examinations fall on the same day for an individual student, the first and last scheduled examinations on that day take priority over others. When one regular final examination conflicts with two or more common final examinations, the first scheduled common final examination on that day takes priority over other common final examinations. When three or more common final examinations fall on the same day, the first and last scheduled examinations on that day take priority over others. When one or more common final examinations are scheduled at the same time, priority is given to the earliest class time as determined by the regular class schedule.

In cases where a student has three final exams (or graded components) in one day and one of those is for an online course, the graded component for the online course should be considered the “middle” exam and thus, upon request from the student, rescheduled. In cases where a student has three final graded components in one day and two of those are for online courses, upon request from the student, one of the graded components for one of the online courses should be rescheduled. In cases where a student has three final graded components in one day and all of those are for online courses, upon request from the student, one of the exams for one of the online courses should be rescheduled.

Students will notify their instructors as soon as possible during the term but no later than one week before the start of final exams during the regular school year or three days before the start of final exams during summer term of final exam conflicts.

Makeup Examinations

When a student is excused from a final examination because of a conflict of more than two exams scheduled on the same day, a makeup examination will be scheduled during the final examination period on a day and at a time of mutual convenience to the student and faculty member concerned. If mutual agreement cannot be reached, the faculty member may specify any time during the final examination period that does not create additional conflict with the rest of the student’s scheduled examinations.